2 teens killed in Coopersville-area crash

UPDATE: Police said a brother and sister were killed Wednesday afternoon when their car slammed into the back end of a stopped school bus north of Coopersville on Wednesday afternoon.
Dec 15, 2011


Bruce Privacky, 16, of Ravenna was driving a Subaru Outback Legacy that hit the bus on northbound 56th Avenue at Roosevelt Street at around 2:30 p.m. Sgt. Steve Austin of the Ottawa County Sheriff's Department said Privacky and his sister, Antonia Privacky, 13 — who was riding in the front seat of the vehicle — were both killed. 

Austin said the Coopersville Area Public Schools bus' flashing red lights were activated at the time of the crash, and the roadway was wet at the time. A witness said the car was traveling about 55 mph at the time and its brake lights never came on.

Police said 21 middle and high school students were on the bus, but they were not injured.

Austin said the Privacky teens' mother came upon the crash scene when she went looking for her children after they failed to arrive home on time after school. Both were Coopersville students: Bruce was in the 11th grade and Antonia was an eighth-grader.

The crash remains under investigation.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



The recent tragic accident involving the two Coopersville youths could have been prevented if school bus bumper heights were lower. Most of today's vehicles have sloped front ends for aesthetics as well as fuel efficiency. School buses and other high body height vehicles (especially those that make frequent stops in the roadway) should have lowered bumper heights or similar energy absorbing structures below body height to accommodate this. Even a low speed collision will result in death or injury when a car strikes a hard object in the non-impact area such as the windshield. Millions of dollars are poured into research and development of crash-worthy structures on front and rear areas on cars with large amounts of government regulation requiring their implementation. It seems ridiculous to commit all of these resources to, and have requirements for this level of safety when a few vehicles on the road completely negate the function of these lifesaving devices. A 55 mph impact is very survivable with current airbags and energy absorbing crush zones. This is another example of how current Federal regulation almost gets the job done. If the auto industry and consumer must endure them, let’s demand that we get our moneys worth.


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